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Thursday, October 28, 2021

‘Not visiting Lakhimpur Kheri’: Bhupesh Baghel stopped at Lucknow airport

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad were also stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri.

By: Express Web Desk |
October 5, 2021 4:08:08 pm
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel sat down in protest after he was not allowed to leave the Lucknow airport. (Twitter/@bhupeshbaghel)

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was Tuesday stopped from leaving the Lucknow airport, a day after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was detained before she could visit Lakhimpur Kheri.

In a video he shared on Twitter, Baghel can be seen sitting down at the airport to protest being stopped from leaving the premises, claiming he is not going to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people died after a car linked to Union MoS Home, Ajay Mishra Teni, allegedly ran over protesting farmers, triggering clashes.

On Monday, Baghel had hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government for not letting him land in Lucknow. “The government of Uttar Pradesh is issuing a decree not to allow me to come to the state. Have civil rights been suspended in Uttar Pradesh? If Section 144 is in Lakhimpur, then why is the dictatorial government stopping you from landing in Lucknow?” he asked in a tweet in Hindi.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained on Monday outside Lakhimpur Kheri, and arrested on Tuesday. “Why has the person behind the killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri not been arrested while I have been under detention for 28 hours without an FIR,” she asked on Tuesday, even as her colleagues alleged that she was not being allowed to meet her lawyers. She further questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not visiting Lakhimpur Kheri, when he was already in Lucknow for the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav event.

Baghel also shared a video of a drone camera deployed over the 2nd Battalion PAC guesthouse in Sitapur where she and other Congress leaders have been kept.

Four of the eight deceased were farmers allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The others included BJP workers and their driver, who were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and then lynched by the protesters. The UP government on Monday lodged a case against Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra Teni and promised a probe by a retired high court judge.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government swiftly imposed Section 144 of the CrPC after Sunday’s clashes and said no leader of any political party will be allowed to visit the Lakhimpur Kheri district. The government also announced Rs 45 lakh ex-gratia and a government job for each of the families of the four farmers who died in the violence.

Owing to the prohibitory orders in the district, permissions to land in Lucknow was denied to Baghel, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhjinder S Randhawa, according to UP additional chief secretary for home Awanish Kumar Awasthi.

Later, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad were also stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri. In Chandigarh, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu staged a protest in front of the main gate of the governor’s house, and was detained by the police.

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